Hopkins, Eric Books
About the author: After graduating in History, Professor Eric Hopkins, BA. MA. PhD, FRHistS, has taught in secondary schools, in teacher training, and the University of Birmingham where he is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in the Arts and Social Sciences. He is also a visiting Professor in the University of Wolverhampton.1999 0-7734-7986-4
This is the first scholarly biography of the Rt. Hon. Charles Masterman, and is based on the Masterman Papers recently made available in the University of Birmingham Library. Masterman was a man of outstanding intellectual ability. After gaining a Cambridge Double First, and becoming a Fellow of Christ’s College, he settled down to a career in journalism. He considered himself a Christian Socialist, and was elected Liberal MP for North-West Ham in 1906. Once in parliament, he made rapid progress and became a close confidant of Lloyd George. He was put in charge of the National Health Insurance Commission which administered the National Insurance Act, 1911. In 1912 he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and was promoted to the Cabinet in 1914 as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. During the war he made an excellent job of organizing propaganda in neutral countries at Wellington House. The years after the war were years of great strain when he fought against bouts of severe depression, and was heavily reliant on drink and drugs. He lost his seat in 1924, but was reconciled with Lloyd George, and was still regarded as the senior authority in the Liberal Party. In 1926 he was described by Beaverbrook as a ‘splendid failure’ (Beaverbrook employed him on the Sunday Express and regarded him and Churchill as the two best journalists in England.)Though his early career was so brilliant (some thought he might become prime minister), he never reached senior cabinet rank. He is best remembered today as the author of The Condition of England (1909). This biography sets him firmly in his political and social context, a portrait of a complex man of enormous promise whose career fell tragically short of expectations.